Biography

“Shirley is a time traveller, a conduit for essential human aches, one of the greatest artists who ever lived, and yet utterly humble” - Stewart Lee.

Shirley Elizabeth Collins MBE is an English folk singer, song collector and perhaps the greatest living embodiment of the musical threads that connect the country with its history. As a significant presence during the Second English Folk Revival, Shirley formed a duo with her sister Dolly, who accompanied Shirley's raw and direct voice on piano and portative organ; together they recorded the startling Anthems In Eden and Love, Death & The Lady. Following a period of silence spanning three decades during which she barely sang, Shirley released Lodestar, her first new material since 1978. The record is a collection of English, American and Cajun songs dating from the 16th Century to the 1950s, recorded at Shirley’s home in Lewes, East Sussex - the work of an icon of British music who has never stopped exploring the power of the voice.

Available Formats

Buy Now

Latest Release

Shirley Collins Heart's Ease

Album | 24th July 2020

On Heart’s Ease, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course,  from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Latest Release

Shirley Collins Heart's Ease

Album | 24th July 2020

Album Description

On Heart’s Ease, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course,  from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Tracklisting

  • 1The Merry Golden Tree
  • 2Rolling in the Dew
  • 3The Christmas Song
  • 4Locked In Ice
  • 5Wondrous Love
  • 6Barbara Allen
  • 7Canadee-i-o
  • 8Sweet Greens and Blues
  • 9Tell Me True
  • 10Whitsun Dance
  • 11Orange In Bloom
  • 12Crowlink
Buy Now

Live Dates

There are no live dates scheduled